“I [Peter] really am learning that God doesn’t show partiality to one group of people over another.” — Acts 10:34
When Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him. They accused him, “You went into the home of the uncircumcised and ate with them!” — Acts 11:2-3
One of the key roles of the church is to shake things up when fresh insights from the Gospel break out. Through dreams and a visit with a Gentile named Cornelius, Peter discovered that the thick wall of prejudice between Jew and Gentile no longer existed. The Gospel proclaimed that God loves all, equally. Some early Christians, deeply proud of their Jewish roots, took offense at that. What’s the use of being the chosen people if now everyone is chosen? Destroying the us/them, good/bad division is always disruptive.
The gauge of a group of Christians is how well they speak Jesus’ truth. You can’t obey what Jesus taught in his Sermon on the Mount and not be disruptive. Breaking down barriers. Loving and forgiving enemies. Striving for justice. Seeking peace. When churches really do such things, then racism, sexism, homophobia, materialism and other evils are exposed and confronted.
The future of the church lies in how well it focuses on social justice. Simply teaching what Jesus taught, and ignoring its societal implications, is untrue to the witness of the early church. Peter confronted centuries old prejudice because he had a dream and met Cornelius. What dreams have we had? What people have we met? And in what ways are we called to be disruptive?